Judges 18:14: The Voice of the Serpent in the Solicitation of the Spies

Verse 14:[1] (1 Sam. 14:28) Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Do ye know that (Judg. 17:5) there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what ye have to do.



[They said] Hebrew: They answered.[2] According to Hebrew usage, to answer is the same thing as to begin a speech (Martyr).


Then answered, that is, spake, the word answering being oft used in Scripture of the first speaker, as 1 Kings 1:28; 13:6; Ezra 10:2; Isaiah 14:10.[3]


[In those houses] In the house of Micah and of the Levite. For they appear to have dwelt separately, verse 15. Could it be a plural in the place of a singular? Perhaps it was a large house, which was consisting of many, and in one of them the Levite was dwelling. This is quite satisfying (Drusius).


In those houses, that is, in one of these houses, the plural number for the singular, as Judges 12:7.[4]


Genesis 49:17

[Consider what might be pleasing to you, וְעַתָּ֖ה דְּע֥וּ מַֽה־תַּעֲשֽׂוּ׃] Know what ye would do (Pagnine). See, or decide (know [Junius and Tremellius]) what ye are going to do (Vatablus, Junius and Tremellius): that is, As we have done, verse 5, consult ye those gods concerning your expedition (Junius). Consider whether it is expedient to carry off all these things by force, or not (Bonfrerius). Do ye not desire to carry these off, so that they might be of use to us, just as they have already been on one occasion (Piscator).


Consider what ye have to do, that is, whether it be not expedient, either, 1. To consult them again for your own satisfaction; or rather, 2. To take them away for your further use, as you shall have occasion; for their action is the best comment upon their words.

[1] Hebrew: וַֽיַּעֲנ֞וּ חֲמֵ֣שֶׁת הָאֲנָשִׁ֗ים הַהֹלְכִים֮ לְרַגֵּל֮ אֶת־הָאָ֣רֶץ לַיִשׁ֒ וַיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ אֶל־אֲחֵיהֶ֔ם הַיְדַעְתֶּ֗ם כִּ֠י יֵ֣שׁ בַּבָּתִּ֤ים הָאֵ֙לֶּה֙ אֵפ֣וֹד וּתְרָפִ֔ים וּפֶ֖סֶל וּמַסֵּכָ֑ה וְעַתָּ֖ה דְּע֥וּ מַֽה־תַּעֲשֽׂוּ׃


[2] Hebrew: וַיַּעֲנוּ.


[3] Isaiah 14:10: “All they shall speak (יַעֲנוּ/answer) and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?”


[4] Judges 12:7: “And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead (בְּעָרֵ֥י גִלְעָֽד׃, in the cities of Gildead).”

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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